Let’s Get it Started!  

Sounds simple, right?  Let’s just get this day started.   Regardless of the time I awake (today as I write this, it was 4:15 am), I still struggle to get out the door to go to work.  Why?  I’ve been trying to figure that out.  Part of it is habits and my morning routine, but an even larger part is what happens thanks to my MS when I want to get going.  Unless you live in a body with wonky wiring thanks to MS, you really can’t quite understand.

No matter what time I wake and am ready to get moving, my husband is asleep until 6:45 or so; unlike me he has no trouble sleeping in the morning and he needs his alarm to get him started.  I try to be respectful of his sleep because heaven knows one of us should at least get a good night’s worth.

Once he is up and going, I am free to do my own thing including turning on the lights and making lots of noise in our bedroom.  Picking out what I want to wear can take a few minutes but fortunately that isn’t much of a drain – what gets me is the shower! I try to keep the water temperature above warm but less than hot.  Standing to shower even for just a few minutes in the warm water changes my body temperature.  Please don’t suggest a cold shower – that’s not going to happen!  Stepping out of the shower – and fortunately it is a walk-in shower and I don’t have to step over a bathtub ledge, I can feel my legs are weaker thanks to my internal temperature shift.  It takes a while to cool down, sometimes 30 minutes or more.

If I’ve shampooed my hair, that can add additional chunks of minutes to getting started out the door.  It only takes me about 10 minutes to dry my hair –  I can’t just go to work with my hair wet.  What is a simple process for everyone else becomes a game changer for me.  The heat from the blow dryer continues the body temperature increase from my warm shower, and my pace slows even more.  By the time I am dressed and headed back downstairs to do my final start out the door, I often come to a crawling pace.

In addition to my body stalling out, the routine and change also seems to hit my brain. I often stand in the kitchen trying to pack my lunch – I only have to grab a yogurt and an apple from the refrigerator, fill my water bottle, grab my keys and purse and go.  If it’s cold or wet, I then have to grab a coat as well. I spin in circles trying to gather up what I need, when it should and could be done in just a few simple steps.  It’s usually not until I am halfway through my drive before I feel my brain quiet and my body feel better.

Those of us who live with heat sensitivity know that even the smallest elevation of temperature can  create  temporary disability in our bodies.  Fortunately, this is only temporary but it still takes time for my core temperature to return to ‘normal’, which for me happens to be about 97.4 degrees. Some days I cool down faster than others, but the mere act of getting ready to get my day started can be a workout.

Think about what you do to get ready to leave your house, whether you have a job to go to, or not.  The same might apply to going to lunch with friends, your latest doctor appointment or anything else that requires a shower, getting dressed and moving.  I’m fortunate that I still work and have a job that’s fairly easy on my body – I get to do a lot of sitting, but that still requires me to get started without much delay in the morning.  And each day I begin with ready, set, and then I have to wait a while before I go!

Do you find yourself slowing down instead of speeding up as you try to start the day or do you have a secret routine or magic powers to get it started?

wishing you well,

Laura

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